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Top Business Skills You Learn in Law School

By William Vogeler, Esq. | Last updated on

A common knock on law school is that it doesn't prepare students for the law business.

And it's generally true, especially if you don't take any business classes or practical clinics. But there is something to be learned in every class that can help the business-minded student.

It's about turning that legal training into business skills. After all, as every successful lawyer knows, the law is a business.

If you can't see the business value in law classes such as contracts, corporations, property, and torts, go back to college and think about a different graduate degree. Seriously, there are plenty of business people who have gone to law school just for those classes.

Those people -- future business leaders -- also look for schools that offer courses or degrees in business, public administration, and international relations. The ideal, of course, is a joint JD/MBA program.

Sometimes, lawyers discover they would rather pursue a business other than law. They can draw upon their legal education, but also what they learned in practice.

Kerriann Stout learned that lesson when she became a professor and bar exam coach. She assessed her legal skills, and applied them to her business. Here are a few:

  • Ability to advocate
  • Communication skills
  • Organization and time management

For better or worse, law schools teach students to "think like a lawyer." The better part learn to use their minds constructively.

Lawyerly thinking is really logical thinking. And if you put the pieces together, you can apply your legal mind to almost any business.

If you can't think of any, here are 101 things to do with your law degree besides practice law.

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